ECR brings best of Europe to Vienna

March 8, 2004

Vienna in early March is not unlike Chicago during RSNA week. One needs to be thoroughly wrapped up to survive the wintery conditions. Like the RSNA meeting, the ECR is well organized and deserving of high marks for efficiency and professionalism.The

Vienna in early March is not unlike Chicago during RSNA week. One needs to be thoroughly wrapped up to survive the wintery conditions. Like the RSNA meeting, the ECR is well organized and deserving of high marks for efficiency and professionalism.

The meeting shows consistently high standards, coupled with quiet professional pride and amiability. These traits are ones I encountered repeatedly among Austrians - in hotels, restaurants, public transport, shops, and museums.

Vienna has much to offer to those jaded by the intense ECR program: absorbing the rich culture in the Hofburg and Stephansdom quarters, enjoying sachertorte and fine coffee at one of the numerous cafes, and shopping at Kohlmarkt and Kartnerstrasse. Music is everywhere, even at the performances of the famous Spanish Riding School, an experience I would highly recommend, particularly to equinophiles.

How about the congress itself? Scientifically, the content is comparable to the RSNA meeting, widely regarded as the international benchmark. An innovation unique to the ECR is EPOS (electronic presentation online system), where all scientific presentations can be browsed online. A strong European flavor permeates and enhances this congress. Each European country has a booth to promote its activities, and yet the effect is one of unity rather than competitiveness.

The E3 (or European Excellence in Education) is an innovative development that reaches out to the radiological community in Europe. There are complimentary booths for international subspecialty societies. Of particular interest to me was the involvement of Korea, a leading light in Asian radiology, in the "ECR meets" program. Organizers of other regional radiological meetings could borrow more than just a few pages from the ECR manual.

The bottom line: I was certainly impressed by ECR 2004 and yes, I will be making a return trip to Vienna.